Tablo struggling with digital VHF channel

So I live about 30 minutes south of Richmond, Virginia and most of the channels come in just fine on my antenna except for WWBT 12, the local NBC affiliate. I have purchased a 8 Port HDTV Distribution Amplifier which connects the antenna coax to the rest of my home’s coax cables. I also have a ANTOP UFO Amplified Outdoor HD TV Antenna with Built-in Amplifier. When I run the antenna with the amplifier along with a distribution amplifier, I notice when I watch my TV if it’s hard wired to the coax, NBC comes in beautifully. I also have a Mediasonic Homeworx HW180STB and notice NBC works great with that too.

BUT with the Tablo, I always get “cannot connect” or “error” on NBC and sometimes now FOx, which s a new problem.

I have no idea why this is happening and how to fix it. Like I said, the channel is fine and just messes up once I am using the Tablo.

Couple of times I’ve heard similar complaints on here. There seems to be a variety of possible causes. I’d suggest you get on the phone with Tablo Tech support. The wait may be a little long, but they’re pretty good once you get them and they probably by now have a list of to-do’s. :slight_smile: shows all broadcasters in your area except WWBT as using UHF frequencies. It looks like all but one of the broadcasters are in the same area WSW of Richmond.
WWBT broadcasts on RF channel 12 (VHF High band) at 207MHz (from the same general location as the others).

Though that spec sheet shows the antenna covering all VHF frequencies (which goes to RF 13) and shows a maximum range of 65 miles, I’m skeptical of a horizontal disk element 15" in diameter being a great VHF antenna at its specified limit / that distance. Depending on your location, antenna height, whether it’s mounted in your attic or outside, etc., you may be close to the ‘digital cliff’ on your TV but not quite past it, and either there’s more loss before it gets to the Tablo or the Tablo has a less sensitive tuner than your TV. That’s a lot of maybes, but there are lots of factors that contribute to signal quality.

If that channel is important to you, I’d suggest you look for an antenna with better VHF Hi performance (which is going to be bigger than what you’re using). Since all broadcasters seem to be close together except for WUPV CW TV, you might get a performance improvement with a directional antenna (possibly to the detriment of WUPV)

Thanks for your response. BUT why would I get the channel on my regular TV connected to the same antenna? That is very strange if the antenna is causing the problem and not the Tablo.

I will also call Tablo support to get an answer.

The digital cliff.
if tuner “A” is just good enough to be on the right side of it, and tuner “B” is not, then tuner “A” will get the channel and “B” does not.

Which tuner is better will vary by manufacturer and luck, although the TV’s have usually had the better tuners.

Also, signal noise may be a factor. Heavy amplification tends to yield less usable signal quality due to the noise getting amplified along with the signal.

This is correct…

You can read more about this here:

The antenna is mounted on my roof. I had somebody put it up there to put it at it’s highest point. I understand what everybody is saying about the Tablo having a less sensitive tuner than my TV which makes sense because my TV gets NBC and Tablo can’t. I don’t see the antenna being the issue. It’s not like it’s going in and out, but it can’t connect at all so the antenna would have to be superman to make up the less sensitive tuner with the Tablo. At this point the idea of removing a $150 antenna with a more expense antenna, having somebody go back on the roof, swap it out, is a lot of work. I’ll just have to watch OTA through my TV or a good hd tuner so I can run the antenna to a receiver. For now, I’ll use Tablo for the channels it can get and accept it’s limitations. I’ve had the device for over a year now or I wold return it. It is what it is.

If you want to see how much signal reserve you have in db on a given TV channel, Perhaps purchase this item:

Not so expensive. You can stack the units until you lose signal on your TV, which would give you an idea how much signal strength should be available to the Tablo, especially if you have a splitter serving both the Tablo and the TV.

If your TV has a signal meter to watch while you install the attenuators, all the better.

For example, if it takes 5 of the 3-db attenuators in the circuit before the TV loses signal, that would imply you have about 12 db of signal reserve before reaching the digital cliff. Therefore a splitter with a 3-db loss per circuit should still yield a usable signal to both the TV and the Tablo.

If the TV signal drops out with just one of the 3-db attenuators in the line then you know the signal was very marginal to begin with for that TV channel.

Another possibility is a variable attenuator, but you might not be able to determine the exact amount of db reduction, depending upon how the dial calibration is set up.

I notice that the WWBT transmitter is NOT co-located with all the others in the Richmond area. You might try re-aiming the antenna 10-15 degrees east of where it’s pointed now to see if that’s enough to get WWBT without loosing the others.

Found it was too little memory left on the attached usb drive that was causing the issue. I removed the drive for now and the channels are working. Thanks for the suggestions.

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